Teacher Appreciation Week Spotlight: Maria Carmen Dominguez, Cristian Gallardo, and Zaire Aguilar


May 4-8 is National Teacher Appreciation Week! The National PTA in 1984 designated the first week of May as a special time to honor those who lend their passion and skills to educating children.

Like their counterparts across the nation, Dallas ISD teachers play an essential role in student success. During Teacher Appreciation Week, we invite the community to join us in recognizing the dedicated educators who wholeheartedly commit themselves to providing an exceptional educational experience for all children.

Each day this week, we will recognize three of the hundreds of exemplary educators in the five divisions of the district. As we highlight their experiences, we salute the role every teacher plays in making our schools, communities and country better places to live and work.

Today, we salute Division Two teachers. Each teacher answered the same three questions: What has been your favorite moment as a teacher, what is the best thing about being a teacher in Dallas ISD, and what is one way in which you hope to impact students?

Maria Carmen Dominguez at John Quincy Adams Elementary School

My favorite moment as a teacher has been….
When one of my student’s parent came to me upset her son was failing reading and I was able to help her understand where her son was and the progress he needed to achieve to reach grade level mastery. Several years later, I saw that student and asked how he was doing in school. He explained he was doing really well, making A’s and B’s. I jokingly attributed his success to our work when he was in my fourth-grade class. To my surprise, he admitted my efforts helped him be successful because I took the time to teach him to read.

The best thing about being a teacher in Dallas ISD is…
I attended Julius Dorsey Elementary as a student, so the opportunity to return to my community, Dallas ISD, is like I’m teaching myself 20 years ago. I always want to teach here in Dallas ISD in the Pleasant Grove community.

One way I hope to impact students is…
To teach them that you should never stop learning, that knowledge is something that you acquire. I want my students to know that I am not just their fourth-grade teacher, but their teacher for life…

Cristian Gallardo at Sam Tasby Middle School

My favorite moment as a teacher has been….

I have many favorite moments as a teacher, but the one that stands out the most took place my first year of teaching. One of our LA/ Reading teachers shared some essays her students were writing in class. The essays talked about how many of them were finally finding science fun, that it was their highlight of their day, and that I had become their favorite teacher.

The best thing about being a teacher in Dallas ISD is…

The best part about being a teacher in Dallas ISD is that I get to interact with students from very diverse backgrounds and I learn something new about my students every day.

One way I hope to impact students is…

The one way I want to impact my students is that I would like for them to know that life is not always about grades or how smart you are. Although it is important, people will not remember you for your grades but for your humility, kindness, and hard work in which you dedicate yourself to reaching your goals.

Zaire Aguilar at W.T. White High School

My favorite moments as a teacher has been…
Seeing how my students teach each other how to work out a problem. They learn more by explaining and sharing their knowledge to one another.

The best thing about being a teacher in Dallas ISD is…
Having a lot of opportunities to help students become better individuals. Each day presents a lot of challenges and that means opportunities by which I can make an impact on a student’s life.

One way I hope to impact students is…
By inspiring them to have goals in life. I do this by asking them what their plans are after high school and sharing with them from time to time my experiences as a former student and how I became a teacher. I tell them that by accomplishing our goals each day in the classroom, they are gradually accomplishing parts of their big goals.

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